Distinguished Speakers and Guests

Leader of the Camp Meetings at the Red Lightning Dome:

Johnnie Aseron

Johnnie Aseron in the Dome at UCSB, May 18, 2017Mr. Johnnie Aseron, Executive Director of the Inter-National Initiative for Transformative Collaboration (INITC), served as the Wellness Initiative and Interfaith Coordinator for the duration of Oceti Sakowin Camp near Standing Rock, ND. Drawing on 25 years experience working in a range of Native community development areas, he has been active in academic research, teaching, and consulting with Native organizations and programs both in the U.S. and internationally. He is currently a co-coordinator of the Four Bands Greater Sioux Nation Camp in North Dakota and brings a range of experiences and insights to share. Mr Aseron has published numerous academic papers and articles on topics including the search for environmental justice.


Panel 1: Protecting the Land and the Water (click here for video)

Moderator: Margaret McMurtrey

Panelists: Mark Tilsen, Jasilyn Charger, and Joye Braun

 

Margaret McMurtrey (moderator)

Margaret McMurtrey is a doctoral student in the Department of Religious Studies - Native American Studies emphasis at the University of California Santa Barbara (UCSB).  Her research focuses on the origin, provenance and embedded Choctaw spiritual beliefs of Choctaw Hymns written pre-removal.  In Summer 2015, she received a fellowship at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian to pursue this research.  McMurtrey is founding co-convener of the American Indian and Indigenous Collective Research Focus group sponsored by the Interdisciplinary Humanities Center and continues to serve as one of the co-conveners.  At UCSB she is a leader in the American Indian Graduate Student Alliance, advisor for the American Indian Student Association and co-founder of the UCSB Native and Indigenous Garden. She is a founding member of the Elders’ Council of the Central Coast, and Board Chair of the American Indian Health and Services Corporation of Santa Barbara.

Mark Tilsen

Mark Tilsen is an Oglala Lakota poet and educator from Porcupine, South Dakota. He served as a non-violent direct action trainer and police liaison at Standing Rock from August to December. He acted as a strategist for the camps and now aids the movement by encouraging municipalities and tribes to divest out of banks that fund DAPL.

Jasilyn Charger

Jasilyn Charger is a Cheyenne River Sioux and one of the first five people to camp at Standing Rock. She helped found the International Indigenous Youth Council.

Joye Braun

Joye Braun is a member of the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe, and an Indigenous Environmental Network community organizer. As one of the first persons to camp at Standing Rock, she helped grassroots members of Standing Rock organize their fight against the Dakota Access Pipeline. A veteran pipeline fighter and water protector, she has worked on the tribal, regional, and national strategies fighting the Keystone XL pipeline and continues to help organize to protect tribal lands through water protection and treaty rights fights.

Media PanelPanel 2: Media (click here for video)

Moderator: Todd Darling

Panelists: John Bigelow, Paula Antoine, and Myron Dewey

 

Todd Darling (moderator)

Todd Darling is an independent documentary filmmaker with an MFA from UCLA. He has spent several months at Standing Rock since September 2016. Darling directed and produced the acclaimed feature documentary Occupy the Farm (2014) among other documentary features and shorts. He won the Eric Sevareid Award from the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences for his first nationally broadcast documentary, Año Nuevo (1981). He has also worked on the broadcast of five Olympic Games. As a Director of Photography he has shot programs for the BBC, USA, Discovery Channel, and TLC. Prior to film and television, Darling worked as a freelance journalist covering stories in Europe, the US and Mexico.

John Bigelow

John Bigelow, a Hunkpapa Lakota and an enrolled member of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, worked in Oceti Sakowin Camp for almost seven months until law enforcement cleared the camps. Shortly after arriving in camp, he was granted permission to use the Oceti Sakowin Camp name to create the website and media team to carry the message from the camp to the mainstream world. Bigelow is a published writer.  Before arriving in camp, he owned many businesses in the media and green energy industries.

Paula Antoine

Paula Antoine, Sicangu Lakota from Rosebud Sioux Reservation, is a mother and grandmother. In 2014, working with the Rosebud Sioux Tribe as the Director of the Sicangu Oyate Land Office and Chairperson of Shielding the People,  she co-founded the Rosebud Spirit Camp in opposition to the planned Keystone XL pipeline. Since she was known as an intervener in both the KXL and Dakota Access Pipeline issues at the South Dakota Public Utilities, members of the affected community reached out to her for assistance in organizational efforts on Standing Rock, and in 2016 she was appointed by the Rosebud Sioux Tribe Council as an organizer of the Sicangu efforts there as well. While involved with the Oceti Sakowin Camp, Antoine participated in the Women's Council and provided advice and operational assistance on the ground with different aspects of the camp. In the efforts to protect Mother Earth, she has led several successful media strategies for both environmental campaigns. 

Myron Dewey

Myron Dewey is Newe/Numah - Paiute/Shoshone from the Walker River Paiute Tribe, Agui Diccutta Band (Trout Eaters) and Temoke Shoshone. He is a professor, journalist, filmmaker/editor, digital storyteller, historical trauma trainer, and drone operator. The founder and owner of Digital Smoke Signals, Dewey produced drone footage  and frontline daily live updates that made him one of the most important journalistic voices to come out of the Standing Rock movement. From August to September, Dewey conducted youth media training workshops, women’s drone workshops and independent media “know your rights” legal workshops. Dewey’s company, Digital Smoke Signals, works to bridge the digital divide throughout Indian Country and indigenize media through indigenous eyes and cultural core values: culture, reciprocity, respect and family.

Conference audiencePanel 3: Decolonization and Indigenous-Centered Leadership (click here for video)

Moderator: Paula Antoine

Panelists: Terrell Iron Shell, Joye Braun, and Michael Cordero

 

Paula Antoine (moderator)

Paula Antoine, Sicangu Lakota from Rosebud Sioux Reservation, is a mother and grandmother. In 2014, working with the Rosebud Sioux Tribe as the Director of the Sicangu Oyate Land Office and Chairperson of Shielding the People,  she co-founded the Rosebud Spirit Camp in opposition to the planned Keystone XL pipeline. Since she was known as an intervener in both the KXL and Dakota Access Pipeline issues at the South Dakota Public Utilities, members of the affected community reached out to her for assistance in organizational efforts on Standing Rock, and in 2016 she was appointed by the Rosebud Sioux Tribe Council as an organizer of the Sicangu efforts there as well. While involved with the Oceti Sakowin Camp, Antoine participated in the Women's Council and provided advice and operational assistance on the ground with different aspects of the camp. In the efforts to protect Mother Earth, she has led several successful media strategies for both environmental campaigns.

Terrell Iron Shell

Terrell is Oglala Lakota and Eastern Band Cherokee from Rapid City SD. At 23, he was an important leader at Standing Rock.  He helped to found the International Indigenous Youth Council in Standing Rock, which is dedicated to empowering youth to become leaders in their communities. He acted as a Nonviolent Direct Action trainer in the fight against the Dakota Access Pipeline and the Keystone XL pipeline before its resurrection. He led the “silent march” that brought water to the police on a blockaded bridge.

Joye Braun

Joye Braun is a member of the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe, and an Indigenous Environmental Network community organizer. As one of the first persons to camp at Standing Rock, she helped grassroots members of Standing Rock organize their fight against the Dakota Access Pipeline. A veteran pipeline fighter and water protector, she has worked on the tribal, regional, and national strategies fighting the Keystone XL pipeline and continues to help organize to protect tribal lands through water protection and treaty rights fights.

Michael Cordero

Michael Cordero is Chumash and was born and raised in Santa Barbara. He is a graduate of UCSB, a retired teacher and also past Tribal Chair of the Coastal Band of the Chumash Nation. In 2016 he was one of the founders of the Santa Barbara Standing Rock Coalition and helped write and present the resolution in support of Standing Rock that the Santa Barbara City Council passed in November of 2016. He is currently working with Kiyqilik hi'lo (water protectors) along with other indigenous peoples, to give voice to the indigenous members of the local community in support of taking care of the earth and water in our Santa Barbara region.


Co-Organizers:

Todd Darling 

Todd Darling is an independent documentary filmmaker with an MFA from UCLA. He has spent several months at Standing Rock since September 2016. Darling directed and produced the acclaimed feature documentary Occupy the Farm (2014) among other documentary features and shorts. He won the Eric Sevareid Award from the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences for his first nationally broadcast documentary, Año Nuevo (1981). He has also worked on the broadcast of five Olympic Games. As a Director of Photography he has shot programs for the BBC, USA, Discovery Channel, and TLC. Prior to film and television, Darling worked as a freelance journalist covering stories in Europe, the US and Mexico.

Claudio Fogu

Claudio Fogu is Associate professor of Italian Studies at UCSB and works on Italian cultural history and memory, with an emphasis on film and visual culture. He is the author of The Historic Imaginary. Politics of History in Fascist Italy (University of Toronto Press, 2003), and co-editor of The Politics of Memory in Postwar Europe (Duke UP, 2006), and Probing the Ethics of Holocaust Culture (Harvard UP, 2016). He is also a member of the activist-scholarly network Storie in movimento and co-founder of its digital journal for the history of social conflict, ZapruderWorld, of which he is co-editing a forthcoming volume on “Performing Race.”

Janet Walker

Janet Walker is Professor of Film and Media Studies at the University of California, Santa Barbara, where she is also affiliated with Feminist Studies and the Environmental Media Initiative of the Carsey-Wolf Center for Film, Television and New Media. Reflecting her scholarly specializations, her books as author or (co)editor include Feminism and Documentary (co-edited with Diane Waldman, Minnesota University Press, 1999); Westerns: Films through History (Routledge, 2001); Trauma Cinema: Documenting Incest and the Holocaust (University of California Press, 2005), Documentary Testimonies: Global Archives of Suffering (with Bhaskar Sarkar, Routledge, 2010), and most recently, Sustainable Media: Critical Approaches to Media and Environment (with Nicole Starosielski, Routledge, 2016). The recipient of awards for teaching and research, and professionally active national and internationally, Walker is also the co-leader of several campus initiatives: “Figuring Sea Level Rise,” the 2012-2013 theme of the UC Santa Barbara’s Critical Issues in America initiative and Climate Justice Futures: Movements, Gender, and Media,” a 2014-2015 Crossroads project. Her current project is a book about mapping, media, and environment.

Margaret McMurtrey

Margaret McMurtrey is a doctoral student in the Department of Religious Studies - Native American Studies emphasis at the University of California Santa Barbara (UCSB).  Her research focuses on the origin, provenance and embedded Choctaw spiritual beliefs of Choctaw Hymns written pre-removal.  In Summer 2015, she received a fellowship at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian to pursue this research.  McMurtrey is founding co-convener of the American Indian and Indigenous Collective Research Focus group sponsored by the Interdisciplinary Humanities Center and continues to serve as one of the co-conveners.  At UCSB she is a leader in the American Indian Graduate Student Alliance, advisor for the American Indian Student Association and co-founder of the UCSB Native and Indigenous Garden. She is a founding member of the Elders’ Council of the Central Coast, and Board Chair of the American Indian Health and Services Corporation of Santa Barbara.

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